After firmly establishing themselves as Melbourne’s premier hot chocolate brand and brewhouse since their inception in 2012, Mörk Chocolate has well and truly shifted our narrow assumptions around a beverage widely considered to be a children’s drink.
With the establishment of sexy dark chocolate flavours, ingenious chocolate food and drink creations and strong collaborative work with Rooftop Honey, Luxbite, St. David’s Dairy and others, it’s easy to understand why Mörk has such a solid reputation in Australia, and now, overseas.
Co-owner Josefin Zennell as been making chocolate since she was a 21 year old in Sweden. Zennell knows a thing or two about hot chocolate, and indeed, Easter. Zennell says the Easter traditions back where she grew up are slightly different to those of Australia.
“In Europe, Easter is obviously about the chocolate and the candy; but [more generally], it’s all about eating and drinking delicious things, I think,” Zennell says.
“And for me, I’ve worked in chocolate since I was [young] so I’ve always worked a lot during Easter. It’s always been about making the most of beautiful Easter creations; eggs and chocolate pralines with Easter flavours; and in Sweden, Easter is about marzipan, so using those marzipan flavours.
“It’s really all about making colourful, playful chocolate and candy things for grownups and kids.”
Josefin and her team at Mörk have created an Easter hot chocolate exclusively for Gram readers centered around the hot cross bun, a drink she says is all about trying to find the balance between flavours while keeping the chocolate flavours in focus.
“We’re always trying to find ways to balance the chocolate, and make the hot chocolate something interesting while keeping the chocolate flavour in tact,” Zennell says. “It’s about adding something to it that gives it a bit of a punch; whether that’s a bit of spice, or sweetness or whether it is a bit of sea salt and so on.
“It was really important to us that we highlighted the chocolate while we added some spices. And because we make a hot cross bun – which is a triple chocolate bun – for the Chocolate Brewhouse every Easter as well, it’s kind of the same thing; we kind of balance the spices against the chocolate. One flavour doesn’t take over the other.”
Zennell says it’s about getting the right balance and, in the absence of fruit, making sure the chocolate plays the role of fruitiness in the bun.
“In this Easter hot chocolate recipe, if you choose not to add the port, it’s okay because the chocolate actually has raisin flavours,” Zennel says. “The chocolate that we use has kind of stone fruity, dark cherry, dark fruit flavours. So even without adding raisins or any kind of fruit to the drink, it still has a strong fruit flavour.
“It’s really interesting. I think it’s one of the best flavours to combine with those [hot cross bun] spices.”
Josefin says chocolate is as complex as wine and coffee, with about 500-600 different flavour compounds to be found in the foodstuff.
“Chocolate is one of the most complex things on this earth, so you really do find sometimes subtle, but very complex flavours,” Zennell says. “You can find notes of anything from green bananas, to grapes, to strawberries and raspberries, to nuttiness, depending on how the beans are roasted.”